In Ephesians 2.11-22, Paul steps back to consider the bigger picture of what God, the Master Planner, has accomplished in Christ. While His electing and saving purposes are experienced by individuals, we become part of something bigger than ourselves. We must understand what that bigger thing is so that we can better understand who we now are in Christ.
Paul addresses the divide between Gentiles and Jews that existed before Christ came but has now been bridged through his sacrificial death. In Christ, God is creating a new humanity in the midst of the old; what was formerly divided has now been reconciled. As people from all kinds of people groups (ethnic, social, religious) place their faith in Christ, they are united to him and united to those who also put their faith in him. We are all together being built into a spiritual household, a new temple in which God dwell by his Spirit.
Paul demonstrates in this passage that God’s plan reaches farther than we might imagine. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to seek and save the lost. How far are we willing to go to join him in that work? We also learn that the Church is the visible evidence of God’s saving work in Christ. No one else could create a worldwide union of people from such diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. Our unity in diversity is not an expression of our own human accomplishments but is a witness to the glory of God in Christ. Finally, we learn that God’s building plan is not optional; if we are not joining God in his building work, what are we building?